Cleaning Out My Closet


I have cleaned out my closet a couple of times since last fall. My goal is end up with the most versatile and efficient wardrobe. Over the years, after unpacking and repacking my clothes during my countless moves during university, I realize that I have a lot of clothes that I don’t wear. I gravitate towards the same few pieces every season, or so, and just wear those pieces.

I’ve decided to “minimalize” my wardrobe, so that everything in my closet is something that I love.

This task is a little harder than I first anticipated. There are several things that I have learned about myself during this process.

1) My tastes differ from year to year.
Sometimes, an article of clothing that I was crazy about during one season, I may not feel the same way towards the following year. These articles are then left unworn, and untossed because they were once so beloved a year or two ago.  This is usually because the item is a trendy item.  Examples include: my long short-sleeved dress shirt that I usually paired with black leggings and casual flats, and my long polo shirt with a sash tie.

2)  Internet purchases are hit and miss.

Sometimes I see an item that is an absolute STEAL and it looks great on the model.  It’s JUST what I am looking for.  Alas, when the item arrives, it does fit or look quite the way I remembered it.   Examples:  t-shirt that was too small from Bluenotes and a black open cardigan.

3)  I try to convince myself to “like” my failure buys

This usually applies to purchase bought on a whim on the Internet where it looked great on the model.  I try to tell mytself that it’s “not that bad,” and I even force myself to wear it a few times to justify the purchase.  Really, I should just chuck it and make better decisions next time.

4)  I feel bad and guilty for throwing away clothes that were gifts

A t-shirt that an ex-boyfriend bought me when he went on his trip to Las Vegas.  I haven’t worn it once.  After I finish this post, I’m gonna chuck it.  I don’t think having the words, “Bad Girl” in sparkling sequins across my chest is really all that flattering.

What I am doing about it:

I have a Rubbermaid box that I keep next to my closet  (let’s call it the Toss Box).  I would toss an item in there every so often, if it fell into the above categories.   Then wait a few months to check if the item was missed.  Usually it’s not, and life moves on.  I am going to go an “inventory”  of my closet every month to see if any items can be added to the “toss box.”  I can think of a few more items, already 🙂

My Goal:
To end up  with a fabulous minimalistic closet where every item of clothing is something that I would be proud to wear and having (hopefully) many outfit options.

How is your closet doing?  What are some reasons that you give yourself to keep an item of clothing that you don’t wear anymore?

12 Responses to “Cleaning Out My Closet”

  1. Dawn Says:

    I am trying very hard to minimize my closet this year. I have already gone through and gotten rid of the clothes not worn this year. My problem lies in trying to find “my style” and only keep clothes that look good on me. It is an ongoing process.

    • I am going through that right now. But now, I try to have a picture in my mind of how I can match things instead of buying on impulse (like how I used it). I also search more, and if I don’t find that I LOVE it, I leave it. I also use the rule where I don’t buy things right away, but wait 3 days. Usually, I forget about it if I don’t really want it, but there are a few items that I search for (I try to narrow down this list, though!).

  2. roxetterachel Says:

    Cleaning out the closet can be a long, arduous task! I love your “toss box” idea – I use a garbage bag, but keep it handy and add things to it almost daily. It’s amazing the things we collect – especially clothing items – over time. I still have several items with tags that are “might want to wear for special occasion” items.. but I think I’m going to purge those as well. If I need a dress, chances are, I won’t wear it often enough so that anyone will notice I have “just one.”

    I enjoy reading these blogs and knowing other people are going through the same life changes. It is such an awesome feeling to not be attached to “stuff.” I wouldn’t be torn up to lose even the few things I’ve kept. There’s so much more to life!

    • I agree with the dress idea. I have beautiful green chinese dress, and it’s the only formal dress I have. I wore it to an Xmas party, and that’s how everyone remembers me. Little do they know that I will be struggling with next year’s Xmas party dress. 😛

  3. joyful Says:

    I have full closets, yes closets with only my clothes and a few linens. I actually purge and have been doing so on a regular basis. But as I keep growing (unintentionally) I always need new things…and thus have too much at all times. I do give everything to good will rather than toss it and I get a lot of wear out of what I do wear. I don’t toss it out until it’s in rags…I’m in the general process of decluttering everything and purging and that will include more clothes.

  4. Heather Says:

    I struggle with clothing. I do have to maintain 2 wardrobes….professional and the other life. : ) I have to wear suits to work. I don’t mind but suits can get pretty boring. I like to add pops of color and a nice fitting suit gets me through the day as does cute but comfortable professional shoes. This takes up a good chunk of my closet and I really do wear everything at least once a month. I wear things out until they are literally falling apart. At home, I wear yoga pants, jeans, white or grey t-shirts and I am in love with a particular designer who makes the cutest dresses. I find them at the discount store once in a blue moon and cannot pass them up. SO…I strive to do better..get maximum usage out of everything I have. I do purge 2x a year, donating to a woman’s shelter. Someday I plan on owning only short and tanks tops and flip flops…when I retire to the beach. ***SIGH***

  5. My work is pretty casual and in my industry, I get a fair amount of site/construction work. I have 3 pairs of dress pants, and too many pairs of jeans. I do keep a designated 2 pairs for construction site (one is for dirty sites, and other is for normal sites), and a dark wash for the office.

    On weekends, I love lounging in sweats but I also like putting together a new outfit (but only in the summer time :P).

  6. Red Says:

    I have whole-heartedly embraced minimalism in my closet, to the point that I talk myself into donating items that I still “kinda” like. My goal is to get my closet into versatile, solid-color shape where many tops can be worn with many pants instead of having a pair of pants that can ONLY be worn with one color. I like khakis for work because they’re comfy and v-neck tees because I can dress them up or down without too much effort.

    I’m the same as you about Internet buys. In fact, I almost exclusively shop in stores because I’m afraid that an item won’t fit correctly once it gets here. Sounds like you may be headed in a similar direction. I also had a problem with getting rid of clothes, especially t-shirts, that were gifts. If you don’t wear it – whether it was a gift or not – toss it. I wore my tee shirts all the time but had to be realistic because I couldn’t wear them to work. So I was only wearing them on the weekend, and I didn’t need 25 tee shirts for weekend wear.

    Good luck to you!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Red.

      I think that I will be on an internet buy ban for now, until I learn how to order and measure properly so I can order it properly (but that sounds like too much work… hehe).

      I’m gonna toss that Vegas tee right now! 🙂

  7. Annie Says:

    Hey, I love the toss-box idea! I turn my hangers around once a year to determine what I have worn or not. The things not worn are either tossed or placed on probation…

    when I was a kid I remember my closet had 7-10 shirts and three pairs of pants. I did have several pairs of shoes thanks to a foot that stopped growing and a generous relative. Part of me wishes I could go that low again… or at least cut my wardrobe some more…

    • I feel like things are much simpler as kids because we didn’t know how to complicate our lives! I will probably never get to the wardrobe I had as a kid (nor do I exactly want to), but it would definitely be great to further simplify to only having items that I LOVE! 🙂

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